Is BIG big enough? Basic income grant in Namibia. An anthropological inquiry.

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Dokumentart: WorkingPaper
Date: 2012
Language: German
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Ethnologie
DDC Classifikation: 390 - Customs, etiquette and folklore
Keywords: Namibia , Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia , Garantiertes Mindesteinkommen , Ethnologie , Damaraland
Other Keywords: Basiseinkommen , Otjivero
Basic income grant (BIG)
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Namibia's initiative of a basic income grant (BIG) as an unconditionally granted monthly allowance to every citizen of the country - independent of age, gender, ethnic affiliation or private possessions - has attracted worldwide attention. A pilot project was initiated in 2008 in the village of Otjivero east of Namibias capital Windhoek which has shown the positive effects of BIG as a means of poverty reduction and economic development. However, there are heated discussions about the future of BIG within and outside the country. This research focuses on the cultural factors in the process. It argues that the appropriation and handling of a basic income grant is strongly influenced by different concepts of what "a good life" is. The results of the anthropological research show that among the Damara population of Otjivero a large part of BIG is invested into the highly valued social exchange system, thus being sustainable in a very culture specific way.

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